pity the nation
Khaled Sabsabi
Published by Stolon Press, Sydney, 2021, 36 pages (b/w ill.), 21 × 27 cm, English
Price: €13

Intro – 4 Bars
Chorus 1 – 2 Bars
pity the nation… pity the nation
pity the nation… pity the nation
Pause – 2 Bars
Verse 1 – 8 Bars

pity the nation that is full of empty faith
pity the nation that wears cloth it does not weave
eats gluttony breads it does not harvest
drinks wine that flows not from its wine press
pity the nation that acclaims the bully as hero
hails and deems the glittering conquerer bountiful
pity a nation that despises passion
only in its dreams submits to awakening

Images & Text by Khaled Sabsabi. Typography by Ruud Ruttens.

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Alif Meem
Khaled Sabsabi
Published by Stolon Press, Sydney, 2021, 32 pages, 21 × 27 cm, English / Arabic
Price: €13

‘By the fig, by the olive, by Mount Sinai and by this city of refuge’

وَٱلتِّينِ وَٱلزَّيْتُونِ‎
وَطُورِ سِينِينَ‎
وَهَٰذَا ٱلْبَلَدِ ٱلْأَمِينِ‎

Quran: Chapter 95. At-Tin

Continuing with these ideas: Alif, Meem, أم, Arabic letters laid out in this path spell out the mother and or source of origin, leading the way by perspicuous examples that makes the oppressed heart clear.

And if Meem, Alif, ما, order is reversed it spells the name for water and the unexplained parallels of the possibilities of the unseen in which there is no doubt or guide. The wisdom of the living and eternal symbols of whatever makes honest.

Free from Fear and Reward.

Images & Text by Khaled Sabsabi. Typography by Ruud Ruttens.

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Pocket Book
Aveek Sen
Published by Stolon Press, Sydney, 2021, 20 pages, 4.5 × 7 cm, English
Price: €10

By the secret and the intimate, I am not trying to hint at seductive innerwear. I am trying, instead, to think about things as banal as, say, the linings of pockets, collars, jackets and bags. This is where skin meets stuff in order to create for us the experience, rather than the appearance, of what we choose to wear. And this is not, or not just, about comfort and convenience, but about a quality that has nothing to do with how we want to be looked at by others. It is what makes us who we are, purely to ourselves, when we put something on, be it a shirt, a shawl or a perfume. For those who wear clothes as well as for those who make them, the invisible is what lies closest to the person, and hence to personhood.

Edited by Tom Melick. Photocopies by Simryn Gill. Typography by Ruud Ruttens.

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Sociology of the Café
A conversation between Elisa Palacio & Juan Laxagueborde
Published by Stolon Press, Sydney, 2021, 32 pages, 4.5 × 7 cm, English
Price: €10

Elisa Palacio and Juan Laxagueborde choose to discuss cafés in the present, the pandemic. I briefly introduce you to their past and, secretly, mine. The translator is the shadow of the text. I find myself thinking about the Dirty War since returning to Buenos Aires, perhaps due to the social unrest in the United States. Some things are best said and lost in the murmur of a crowd in a café, voices merge and become unintelligible, except to the intended listener. A man and a woman sit at the bar. He says, “Feel my hand”—this is not a joke. It is outstretched and trembling. Upon her touch it grows still. Some things are simple and beautiful. I realise now that I am introducing a conversation by speaking to myself, but we always have someone in mind. A figure on a balcony, face illuminated by the light of a cellphone, with nowhere to go but back in, home.

Translated by Elisa Taber. Typography by Ruud Ruttens.

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oak lane
Simryn Gill
Published by Stolon Press, Sydney, 2021, 20 pages (b/w ill.), 21 × 27 cm, English
Price: €25

The sea-hibiscus flowers start off pale yellow with deep red centres, and mature into rich striated sepia, at which point they fall, still beautiful. A few weeks before, a photo of fallen blooms had appeared on my phone, sent by a friend who lives around there. I recognised them at once. What are these flowers doing on your side of town? I wanted to know. They belong over here, near the champak trees. And there are others, too: I think of the guava trees that unashamedly drop their steamy musky crop around them when in season; and someone has planted, with wavering success, a moringa (I know it as drumstick tree); and I have even seen a Java apple — Malacca jambu to some — attempting to fruit. I know these flowers, I tell my friend. They’re where I’m from.

Text and images by Simryn Gill. Typesetting by Ruud Ruttens. Edition of 50.

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A Machine, a Manual
Simryn Gill
Published by Stolon Press, Sydney, 2021, 22 pages (b/w ill.), 21 × 26.2 cm, English
Price: €19

Here and there are industrial white buckets, some with the ends of the entrail-tubes from the processors falling into them; others full of chemicals and with their lids still on; others yet empty. There are racks of PVC and metal rollers for the machines, and standing in the space between them, a jerry-rigged mini-crane to help her lift the lids off the monster-machines when she needs to dip inside to dislodge stuck paper or adjust or change something. A deep metal sink runs the narrower length of the room, large rubbery black gloves hanging off the edge. Plastic trays of various dimensions, once white and now in various hues of brown and yellow, lean against the back. In one corner there is a silver recovery unit for the metal that washes out of black-and-white printing, and which brings in a little bit of cash now and again. (There’s a second, similar machine stored away, Sandy tells me, given to her by the technician who comes to take out the silver; there’s not much call for them anymore).

Images & Essay by Simryn Gill. Typography by Ruud Ruttens. Edition of 60.

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